Finding Myself at 26

Dress: Exact (Large) / Shoes: Similar, Lower Heel / Lipstick: MAC Capricious (exact) / Earrings: Exact

I make no secret that I am often afraid of birthdays.  January 13th if you want to send gifts. I’m old enough now that I can said I’ve had favorite ages and years I’d never want to repeat. I always wonder if the year is going to be one for the books or one to forget. Overall, 26 wasn’t super exciting, but instead a year of a lot of personal growth. I mean, like, a lot of growth.

Dress: Exact (Large) / Shoes: Similar, Lower Heel / Lipstick: MAC Capricious (exact) / Earrings: Exact

I went to Therapy

I am extremely open about going to therapy. The reason is that seeing other people talk about it, especially bloggers I read, talk about it removed any stigma I had associated with it. I don’t think of therapy as “fixing” but instead learning. I learned how to deal with anxiety better. I learned how a lot of stuff I ignored manifested itself in ways that hindered me. More importantly, I learned that I needed to have someone to talk to. Not a best friend. Not a boyfriend. I needed that outside guidance.

I cannot say it enough, regardless of where you are, it is okay to see out therapy. It is not a sign of weakness. I view it as a sign of strength, you recognize what you are lacking and what you need.

In the last few months I wasn’t able to go to therapy due to some insurance allowances, but I will be starting again in the new year and I cannot wait!

Developed Deeper Friendships

I actually credit therapy for this. Although I didn’t go for friendship issues, I noticed that as I opened up in sessions, I began to more openly communicate with my friends. Although I am a huggy person, I tended to be reserved around some of my closest friends. One day I finally just addressed it with my longest-tenured friend. She was like, yeah, I’d like to really not have an awkward hug with my best friend from childhood. And then all of the sudden, we talked about other things that we weren’t comfortable bringing up that we needed from each other. Now it’s sad to me to think that I was so reserved with someone who knows me so well, but I was just too shy to bring up what I knew we were both thinking.

And it wasn’t just in obvious ways like that, but my friends really opened up to me and me to them. I have a hardcore ride-or-die girl gang that is fiercely loyal. I will not trade them for anything. However, even when you know someone so well, there are always ways that you can learn more. I got to celebrate births,  be there for medical scares and celebrate successes. Through all of those moments my friends let me in, I grew in my pride and love for them.

Even for friends who were just acquaintances, I feel like I opened up much faster than I normally would have which took us from “Hey I know you on Instagram!” to “Do you want to get drinks this Friday?”

Dress: Exact (Large) / Shoes: Similar, Lower Heel / Lipstick: MAC Capricious (exact) / Earrings: Exact

I Followed My Gut

The ONE time this year I didn’t follow my gut resulted in a terrible holiday because I was mad at myself. Why? Because I knew in my gut I wasn’t ready for something but I decided to just say I’d do it. The result? A miserable day where I beat myself up for not listening to my gut. I never once regretted it when I did follow my gut.

That’s enough gut talk.

Except that I should definitely take probiotics. Or figure out what those are.

I Owned My Extra

Whether it was hosting a fall party or wearing a velvet jumpsuit and cape (and posing in leaves) that made me look like I was in Glow, I owned it. There’s a freedom in owning who you are, even at your most obnoxious self. Those are the moments that I felt like I was most me and those closet to me understood and encouraged me. Those that did not? Well, they aren’t coming to my next party.

Also for exhibit A, please see the first photo in this post.

Overall I’m kind of sad that 26 is almost over. I have to once again confront my fear of being one year closer to 30 of course. 25 was one of the best years of my life and I was afraid of 26. To be honest though, it’s going to be hard to top 25, but I’m full of hope that 27 is the new 25. The mid-20’s have been the years that I’ve found “me.”

So here’s to closing out 26 and bring in on 27!